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Apple, Amazon, and the growing importance of tightly integrated experiences

Ryan Faas | Oct. 24, 2014
Apple may have released lesser products but it keeps Apple more focused and the fact that Apple produces for just two OSs is one of the things that allows Apple to build such a tightly integrated ecosystem that spans from one device or platform to another.

The challenges imposed by lack of a strong ecosystem don't stop with Android makers. One of the big issues facing BlackBerry and Windows Phone are also the lack of an ecosystem. The issue is particularly acute for BlackBerry, which recently signed a deal with Amazon to augment its own ecosystem with apps from Amazon's.

In fact, only Amazon has truly succeeded in building such a sticky and tightly integrated ecosystem, largely for the same reasons that Apple has succeeded. Amazon has a significant digital content store and it controls the development of its devices very tightly, even if the OS for some of its devices is really a forked version of Android. Amazon also doesn't create a large number of new devices each year. In fact, the company is more restrained than Apple in that regard.

Although Apple and Amazon have vastly different business models - Apple uses content, apps, and services to sell hardware while Amazon uses its devices to sell content, apps, and services - both are succeeding because they can offer tightly integrated and seamless experiences. That ability seems to be resonating with users. Microsoft also seems to be aiming for that approach in its universal apps approach. It seems clear that this will be a driving force in the mobile, desktop, and home entertainment markets in the coming years and it's a trend that could define computing for the long term.


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